The New Middle East; as the Iraq War Helps Bring the American Era to a Close, a New Order Will Begin to Emerge in the Region
Byline: Richard N. Haass (Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations.)
It is early 2008.
The new U.S. strategy for Iraq, outlined by President George W. Bush in January 2007, in the wake of the Iraq Study Group report, has come and gone with no discernible effect.
With 100,000 soldiers still on the ground, despite congressional calls for major withdrawals, "force protection" is the new catchphrase, given domestic intolerance of American casualties. No one debates any longer whether Iraq is experiencing a civil war; it's in fact part failed state, part civil war and part regional war. Insurgents, militias and terrorists are more active than ever; Iraqi casualties and deaths are higher than ever. Output of oil and electricity remains stuck at or below prewar levels. Making matters worse are the "volunteers" crossing into Iraq from Iran (to assist the Shia majority) and Syria (where Saudis and others are flocking to help the embattled Sunni minority). Turkish troops are on alert and carrying out forays into northern Iraq. Republicans fear that public discontent will lead to further losses in Congress and the Democratic capture of the White House in November.
Iraq is not the only "hybrid" conflict in the region. Lebanon's elected government has collapsed after months of assault from Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbullah. If Palestine existed, it would be a failed state, with Hamas and Fatah engaged in daily internecine war. Egypt's aging President Hosni Mubarak clings to power, harboring hopes for a succession by his son Gamal, while the radical Muslim Brotherhood claims the loyalty of many and possibly most Egyptians. Jordan's King Abdullah looks increasingly vulnerable as a massive influx of Iraqi refugees exacerbates longstanding social …
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Publication information: Article title: The New Middle East; as the Iraq War Helps Bring the American Era to a Close, a New Order Will Begin to Emerge in the Region. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: Newsweek International. Publication date: January 8, 2007. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Newsweek, Inc. All rights reserved. Any reuse, distribution or alteration without express written permission of Newsweek is prohibited. For permission: www.newsweek.com. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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